An Update re the Elbow River from MLA Greg Clark

November 19, 2016 by CRC Action Group in News


The following is an update to constituents sent out by the MLA for Calgary-Elbow, Greg Clark, who has consented to us sharing his message with all CRCAG members.


Good afternoon,
I have received a number of emails recently from constituents concerned about the Springbank Dry Dam project. I share their frustrations about the lengthy process and especially about the reports of significant opposition to the project. Let me be clear; the opposition comes from a well-organized, vocal minority. There are tens of thousands of people downstream of Springbank who strongly support this important project vs. only 20 or so individual landowners supported by people who have no direct stake in the project.


The Springbank project has been objectively proven to be the best project to protect our neighbourhoods and downtown Calgary. If there was a project that didn’t impact landowners, had minimal environmental impact, that was cost effective and as effective at mitigating floods like the ones we experienced in 2013 and 2005 I would support it. But there simply isn’t. The McLean Creek project would not offer the same protection, has higher environmental impact, and would take longer and cost more than Springbank. These are the facts, and it means the government needs to acquire private property for public benefit (like they do regularly for road and transit infrastructure). While I empathise with these landowners, if they cannot come to a negotiated sale agreement the Expropriation Act ensures they are treated fairly and receive fair market value for their property.


And on that front, there is some good news. As you may have seen in my most recent newsletter the Province of Alberta has completed the acquisition of one parcel of land from private landowners through a negotiated process, and are finalizing a sale agreement on two other parcels. This is the most tangible indication so far of real progress the project. The province continues to negotiate with the remaining landowners with the goal of acquiring all required property through negotiation, but is prepared to exercise their rights under the Expropriation Act if necessary. The fact that three properties will be acquired through negotiation helps set the price for expropriated land, and should expedite that process should it be necessary.


As the regulatory review process moves forward it is important to stay engaged and to provide input. I will keep you informed and let you know when the comment period opens, and it is also helpful to heed the calls to action from groups like the Calgary River Communities Action Group.


I am sitting down with Infrastructure Minister Brian Mason next week for an update on the project and I will send you an update following our meeting. In the meantime please keep in touch and let my office know if you have any further questions.


Finally, the City of Calgary is hosting a series of flood mitigation workshops this month. Although the Springbank project is a provincial responsibility, it’s always helpful to remind the City of the urgency of upstream mitigation. You can learn more about these sessions here:


Please keep in touch and I’ll do the same.


Greg Clark, BA MBA
MLA Calgary-Elbow
Leader of the Alberta Party Opposition

Constituency Office Legislature Office
Suite 205 5014 Federal Building
5005 Elbow Drive SW 9820 107 Street NW
Calgary, AB T2S 2T6 Edmonton, AB T5K 1E7
(403) 252-0346 (780) 644-7033